Massachusetts environmental officials refuse to enforce law against AD Makepeace

January 2022: AD Makepeace misses 3 legally required stakeholder meetings under MEPA, state does nothing

Makepeace “Tihonet Mixed Use Development” plan for smart growth and open space a sham!

In 2012, AD Makepeace cut a deal with Massachusetts environmental officials for the 20 year buildout of its approximately 6,500 acres of land in Plymouth, Carver and Wareham. Top state officials designated this land as globally rare Pine Barrens.

Here is a map of the area that Makepeace promised would be a model of “smart growth and open space development.” Compare that to the October 2021 Google Earth image below of Makepeace’s industrial sand mining and solar projects that is destroying the Pine Barrens and our water supply. Makepeace runs Read Custom Soils as its sand mining operation and distribution facility in the northern part of the TMUD area in Carver. It is planning more industrial development in Carver including a cell town on Federal Road. This is not “smart growth and open space protection.”

Who is kidding who?

Are state officials like Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Katie Theoharides covering for AD Makepeace?

AD Makepeace “Tihonet Mixed Use Development” (TMUD) area covered by its special deal with MEPA for “smart growth and open space protection.” Is Makepeace’s current sand mining and industrial solar smart growth and open space protection?
What Makepeace’s TMUD area looks like today: industrial sand mining operations and over 400 areas of strip mining and deforestation for industrial ground mounted solar installations done with Borrego Solar. Source: Google Earth Pro, Oct. 2021

Makepeace negotiated a “Special Review Procedure” under the state MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act) law allowing the company to short cut environmental reviews. Makepeace told MEPA the build-out of the 6,500 acres would be a model of “smart growth and open space.” Today, it is a blighted, strip mined industrial landscape of mining operations and industrial ground mounted solar projects. This is a bait and switch and the state is not holding Makepeace accountable.

The 2010 MEPA deal required Makepeace to hold quarterly stakeholder meetings in Plymouth, Carver and Wareham to explain its plans. Since March 2021, when the public asked hard questions about Makepeace’s sand mining operations at the last quarterly meeting in Wareham, Makepeace has refused to hold the quarterly meetings. In October 2021, Save the Pine Barrens Barrens demanded that MEPA require Makepeace to follow the law and hold the meetings. MEPA refused to act. Makepeace is in violation of the MEPA Special Review Procedure deal from 2012.

Read Save the Pine Barrens letter here:

Makepeace 3 proposed solar projects and sanding in Wareham (140 and 150 Tihonet Road and 27 Charge Pond Road) are inconsistent with the MEPA TMUD!

On May 24, 2021, the Partnership for Policy Integrity (PFPI), an organization that uses science, litigation, policy analysis and strategic communications to promote policies that protect climate, ecosystems commented to MEPA on Makepeace’s three proposed solar project:

“First, this project, and the others going in, represent not a success of the state’s solar energy policy, but a failure. It is shocking to see that the state’s renewable energy policy is actually incentivizing forest clearing for solar. Climate change mitigation is not just about reducing fossil fuel emissions. Climate modeling is crystal-clear that we need to not only reduce emissions, but actually sequester CO2 that has already been emitted. Restoring and expanding forests is the only means under our control to achieve this at scale. Accordingly, anything that undermines forest carbon uptake is actively undermining climate mitigation. The state should not have a policy that pits solar against forests. Policies should offer incentives for preserving and expanding forests, not destroying them.”